Meeting Place: The Human Encounter and the Challenge of Coexistence

Overview

In this remarkable and often dazzling book, Paul Carter explores the conditions for sociability in a globalized future. He argues that we make many assumptions about communication but overlook barriers to understanding between strangers as well as the importance of improvisation in overcoming these obstacles to meeting. While disciplines such as sociology, legal studies, psychology, political theory, and even urban planning treat meeting as a good in its own right, they fail to provide a model of what makes ...

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Meeting Place: The Human Encounter and the Challenge of Coexistence

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Overview

In this remarkable and often dazzling book, Paul Carter explores the conditions for sociability in a globalized future. He argues that we make many assumptions about communication but overlook barriers to understanding between strangers as well as the importance of improvisation in overcoming these obstacles to meeting. While disciplines such as sociology, legal studies, psychology, political theory, and even urban planning treat meeting as a good in its own right, they fail to provide a model of what makes meeting possible and worth pursuing: a yearning for encounter.

The volume’s central narrative—between Northern cultural philosophers and Australian societies—traverses the troubled history of misinterpretation that is characteristic of colonial cross-cultural encounter. As he brings the literature of Indigenous and non-Indigenous anthropological research into dialogue with Western approaches of conceptualizing sociability, Carter makes a startling discovery: that meeting may not be desirable and, if it is, its primary objective may be to negotiate a future of non-meeting.

To explain the phenomenon of encounter, Carter performs it in differing scales, spaces, languages, tropes, and forms of knowledge, staging in the very language of the book what he calls “passages.” In widely varying contexts, these passages posit the disjunction of Greco-Roman and Indigenous languages, codes, theatrics of power, social systems, and visions of community. In an era of new forms of technosocialization, Carter offers novel ways of presenting the philosophical dimensions of waiting, meeting, and non-meeting.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Paul Carter's commentaries on cross-cultural encounters have long been philosophically sophisticated and deservedly influential. His new book raises the question of what the value of meeting is, in whose terms. It takes us to the very heart of the histories of encounter and confrontation that have proven so intractable for so long in Australia and elsewhere." —Nicholas Thomas, University of Cambridge

"The Meeting Place, Carter’s latest foray into colonial and postcolonial encounters of peoples, epistemologies, and longings, exposes what he foregrounds and reiterates as a ‘meeting place’ of desired belonging and social union. It is an imaginative, referentially capacious, formally demanding, as well as theoretically inventive book." —Rob Wilson, University of California, Santa Cruz

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816685394
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 10/16/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Carter is professor of design (urbanism) at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of The Road to Botany Bay: An Exploration of Landscape and History (Minnesota, 2010).

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Table of Contents

Contents

Response

Borderline

Aside

Rendez-vous

Hollowed Out

Cladding

Catching Up

Echo Location

Scales

Over and Above

Thirdings

All Change

Liaisons

Singing Through

X Marks the Spot

G/hosts

Enigma Variations

In Passing

Pigeon Holes

Erotic Zones

First Impressions

Within a Cooee

Dangerous

I Read Marx (I Don’t)

Terminal

Middle Ground

Blind Spot

Save the Wall

All Ears

I Have Wondered beyond Absolutes

Accompaniment

Proxy

Notes

Index

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